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Pharmaceutical Markups

Topics: Pharmacology / Pages: 6 (1390 words) / Published: Jan 14th, 2013
What Dorgan Amendment No. 990?
The Congress wanted to pass the Dorgan Amendment No. 990 because of the following reasons:

(1) Americans unjustly pay up to 5 times more to fill their prescriptions than consumers in other countries; (2) The United States is the largest market for pharmaceuticals in the world, yet American consumers pay the highest prices for brand pharmaceuticals in the world; (3) A prescription drug is neither safe nor effective to an individual who cannot afford it; (4) Allowing and structuring the importation of prescription drugs to ensure access to safe and affordable drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration will provide a level of safety to American consumers that they do not currently enjoy. (5) American spend more than $200,000,000,000 on prescription drugs every year; (6) The Congressional Budget Office has found that the cost of prescription drugs are between 35 to 55 percent less in other highly-developed countries than in the United States; and (7) Promoting competitive market pricing would both contribute to health care savings and allow greater access to therapy, improving health and saving lives.

The Dorgan amendment, entitled, "Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2007," proposes a free trade policy on prescription medications, letting the Americans buy their medicines from certified organizations registered as valid importers or exporters. Once passed, cheap drugs will be available in the market, saving a lot of money for the Americans.

Pharmaceutical Markups
Retailing pharmaceuticals is hugely profitable. They mark up their prescription drugs as much as 569,000% over the price of the raw materials. A typical markup is more in the 30,000% - 50,000% range.
For example:
Xanax 1 mg is sold at $136.79 for every 100 tablets when the original cost of general active ingredients is just $0.024. That is 569,958% percent markup.
Americans pay the highest prices in the world for prescription medicines. Many cities and states are now having a hard time to handle the health care costs of their current and former government employees since a large percentage of those costs are just spent on overly-priced medicines. Once the Dorgan Amendment No. 990 will be passed into the law, U.S. citizens, businesses, and government will save billions of dollars each year because they can now source medications in a price competitive environment. They can now have the very same chemical medications for their current and former employees for a low price because pharmaceutical company will now be engaged in a price war.

What is Big Pharma?
The Big Pharma (also known as Pharmaceutical Lobby) refers to the large pharmaceutical and biomedicine companies in the United States. They are also called as the Bad Pharma because they abuse the industry by: * Putting large markups to the medicines that they sell. * Focusing on selling medicines to people who aren't even sick. * Creating or renaming diseases so that people will buy more medicines or they will think that their conditions are more serious.
Their primary purpose of it is to generate profit and not to generate health.

Why is Dorgan Amendment No. 990 a threat to the Big Pharma?
To enforce the medical monopoly in the United States, they are restricting their citizens to purchase medicines from other countries and they have no choice but to buy it at expensive price. The Food and Drug Administration let this monopoly run for several years in order to protect pharmaceutical companies’ profits. The FDA is also pressuring the U.S customs to hold pharmaceutical shipments, telling them that it will be harmful for them to accept imported medicines and sell it to the people because of terrorists and therefore, Americans should only buy from U.S monopoly-controlled pharmacies because of the fear of terrorists. They are just making this ‘safety concerns’ as their excuse to enforce a U.S monopoly on prescription drugs and to allow Big Pharma to deceive the Americans and generate more profit. Little did they realize that even the FDA-approved drugs sold all over the U.S already kill100,000 Americans each year. Every drug has side effects which included liver damage, heart damage, nutritional deficiencies, and even death. The idea that prescription drugs are not dangerous to take is just absurd and trying to ensure drug safety by forcing Americans to pay expensive medicines is just made to protect the profiteering Big Pharma while claiming that they are protecting the public.
Dorgan Amendment No. 990 threatened to break Big Pharma's monopoly over pharmaceutical sales. Since there is already a free trade policy, Americans can now purchase their medicines from other countries and at a lower price. The bill states, "...a prescription drug is neither safe nor effective to an individual who cannot afford it," and they describe the safety requirements that would be required by the amendment, this includes safety inspections and registrations as well as funding efforts to locate and shut down fake internet sales of counterfeit prescription drugs.
There are 28 Senators who voted to maintain Big Pharma monopoly over U.S. consumers because of ‘safety concerns’ and maybe because all of them have taken money from pharmaceutical companies.

China and Ecuador Bypasses Big Pharma Patents
On the other hand, the Chinese government has officially amended its patent laws to allow drug companies to reproduce generic, low-cost versions of expensive, patented drugs, a daring move that is sure to shake up the pharmaceutical industry. They also plan to export generic versions of patented drugs so that china will have the opportunity to produce low cost, generic versions of patented drugs and distribute it to other country.
Because of the unreasonable high drug cost like treatment/ medicine for cancer many patients tend to have serious financial problems/ bigger debt. To solve these type of problems. China plans to reproduce low cost version of expensive drugs so that it would available in a cheaper price. They also want to provide more affordable medicines so that poorer nations can afford to pay such prices. This kind of situation will have a great beneficial to people. Especially to those people who are in need and not wealthy enough to buy these medicine.
The President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, also made the similar move in 2009. He explained that access to medicine is a human right. He wanted it to be open and available for anyone to produce and sell without fear of infringing a patent. He is planning to override a number of pharmaceutical patents in order to offer more affordable medicines to the citizens of Ecuador. He wanted to end the 20-year pharmaceutical monopoly because people cannot afford to pay these medicines. This Big Pharma are extracting as much money as possible for their drugs.

Pharmaceutical Markups and Business Ethics It is unethical that Big Pharma are selling their medicines at expensive price. The prices should be at least near to the actual cost of their production. They are just thinking about the profit that they will generate because they know that people will just buy it because it is medicine is considered as necessity. The people who can’t afford their product will suffer, and even die. Medicines should not be pursued for profit. Pharmaceutical companies should think the welfare of the people, that they are producing medicines to cure the diseases of the people and not just to have profit. Medical necessity is replaced by a profit motive that it becomes unaffordable to all. Companies are so profit-minded that they are aggressively pursuing people to buy medicines even though they don’t need them at all. They are now focused on selling drugs to people who aren’t even sick. These companies will always look for ways on how to market more drugs to more people at higher prices. Their purpose is to generate profit, not to generate health. What Dorgan, China, and Ecuador did is correct. They stand up against the pricing practices of pharmaceutical companies and they did corrective actions to give the people what they deserve – affordable medicines. Countries should find ways on how to serve their citizens better. According to the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, access to medicine is a human right and these greedy companies couldn’t deny us of our right to have access to these affordable medicines.

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